Sexpest teacher gets another school job
New high school where he was appointed had no idea of his sordid history
The governing body of a northern KwaZulu-Natal school is planning to fire a teacher it recently employed after discovering that he allegedly sexually abused a young boy while he was teaching at another school.
Police arrested the teacher at Amajuba High School in Newcastle last Wednesday following two alleged sexual assaults on the boy, the first when he was a 12-year-old pupil at Dannhauser Primary Full Service School in August 2016. The other assault is alleged to have taken place in March last year when the boy visited the suspect at his house in Dannhauser.The chairperson of Amajuba High School’s governing body, Johan Botes, confirmed this week that a letter will be forwarded to the teacher's attorney asking the educator to provide reasons why he should not be dismissed.
Dannhauser Primary Full Service School dismissed the teacher last year but declined to say if his dismissal was linked to the sexual assault allegations.Times Select learned that he subsequently found a teaching job at a school in Nquthu, outside Dundee, before he was appointed at Amajuba High when schools re-opened last month.
The circumstances surrounding the teacher's employment at the Nquthu school and at Amajuba High raise serious questions about whether schools are screening and conducting background checks on teachers before employing them.
Botes said they sent the letter to the Federation of Governing Bodies of South African Schools to have it checked with their lawyers before it could be sent to the teacher’s attorney.
“Although it allegedly happened at another school and in 2016, he was arrested on our premises and we cannot afford to jeopardise the safety of our children. We can’t keep him on forever while this matter is still under investigation.”
He said that had they known about the allegations against the teacher, they would not have employed him.
Botes said that they looked at a teacher’s CV and testimonials from referees before hiring them.
“This is an eye-opener. We will have to be more careful in future.”
A staff member, who wished not to be identified, said:
“He made a very good impression on us and the children love him.“His class discipline was very good. We were quite shocked when the police came and took him.”
Themba Ndhlovu, spokesperson for the South African Council for Educators, said Dannhauser Primary should have informed either them or the department of education when the sexual allegations first surfaced.
“It means the school was trying to protect their own image by not reporting it. We believe the school cannot hide the allegations. We will be demanding a report from the principal and will be instituting an investigation as a matter of urgency.”
He said that most schools were not doing background checks on teachers they employed.
“Schools can check with the the Department of Social Development whether the person is not listed on the child protection register. Schools must check with Sace whether that particular person does not have any case with Sace."
The arrested teacher’s girlfriend, who is related to the victim’s family, is believed to have informed the boy's father about the allegations last month.The teacher appeared briefly in the Dannhauser Magistrate's Court last Thursday and was remanded in custody.
His attorney, Allen Kelly, confirmed that his client’s formal bail hearing will take place on February 13.
Meanwhile, Ndhlovu said that the former principal of Reiger Park No 2 Secondary School in Boksburg on Gauteng’s East Rand would be hauled before a disciplinary hearing after sex videos and photographs involving him went viral recently.
“I am certain that he is going to be struck off the roll indefinitely.”
The videos and photographs apparently showed him in compromising positions with a pupil and staff members.
KwaZulu-Natal education department spokesperson Muzi Mahlambi did not respond to media queries at the time of publication.